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Scripture Reflection - April 14, 2024


Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:13-15,17 - 1 John 2:1-5    - Luke 24:35-48


Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection


"Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the prophets had to be fulfilled"(Luke 24:44)

 

The Mass readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter jointly focus attention on repentance, forgiveness, and the truth of Jesus' resurrection. By virtue of Peter's call for repentance in Acts, the affirmation of Jesus as our advocate in John 1:1 and the Gospel account of Jesus divulging His physical resurrection to His disciples, these readings call attention to the fundamental concept of Easter. They stress the realization of prophecy, the importance of witnessing to the resurrection and living in obedience to God's commands. These Themes serve to intensify our understanding of the Easter message, inviting us to believe in the resurrection and to enfold in our hearts God's love and mercy.

 

According to today's Gospel, the 1st words Jesus spoke to  His disciples were, "Peace be with you". (Luke verse 36). These words assured the disciples of the Lord's forgiveness. They needed to hear these words because they very much regretted that during the days of Jesus' final journey, they had all deserted Him. For those first disciples, the initial experience of the risen Lord took the form of a profound experience of forgiveness, confirming for us all that He is a faithful and forgiving God. The Church has been

faithful to the mission entrusted to the disciples, proclaiming down through the centuries the good news that God's forgiveness is stronger than sin.

 

Today's 2nd reading states this very clearly, "If any does sin, we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous one". (John 2:1-5a)

 

As Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, He asked them, "Have you anything to eat?". (Luke verse 24). They handed Him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb, and they watched Him eat. This was similar to and reminiscent of the other two meals Jesus ate with His disciples after His resurrection from the dead. He cooked breakfast for Peter, and the others on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and one of the most beloved of  Jesus' appearances after the resurrection was when He walked as a stranger with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. It was during a meal when Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it gave it to them that their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him.

 

We recognize the importance of the breaking of the bread. The meals Jesus shared with the disciples after the resurrection, unveil for us, the significance of the Eucharist. We, too, in our celebration of the Mass have an encounter with Jesus through the word and the sacrament of the Eucharist. As Jesus commissioned His disciples to be witnesses to what the scriptures foretold, our celebration of Easter and the Eucharist also commissions us.

 

"You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God". (John 6:68-69)


 

Sr. Bridget Mary Troy, OP


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